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Copper depletion therapy keeps high-risk triple-negative breast cancer at bay
Date:2/13/2013

NEW YORK (February 13, 2013) -- An anti-copper drug compound that disables the ability of bone marrow cells from setting up a "home" in organs to receive and nurture migrating cancer tumor cells has shown surprising benefit in one of the most difficult-to-treat forms of cancer -- high-risk triple-negative breast cancer.

The median survival for metastatic triple-negative breast cancer patients is historically nine months. However, results of a new phase II clinical trial conducted by researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College and reported in the Annals of Oncology shows if patients at high-risk of relapse with no current visible breast cancer are copper depleted, it results in a prolonged period of time with no cancer recurrence. In fact, only two of 11 study participants with a history of advanced triple-negative breast cancer relapsed within 10 months after using the anti-copper drug, tetrathiomolybdate (TM).

"These study findings are very promising and potentially a very exciting advance in our efforts to help women who are at the highest risk of recurrence," says the study's senior investigator, Dr. Linda Vahdat, director of the Breast Cancer Research Program, chief of the Solid Tumor Service and professor of medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.

Dr. Vahdat says four of the study participants with a history of metastatic triple-negative breast cancer have had long-term benefit remaining disease free for between three and five and a half years.

"The anti-copper compound appears to be keeping tumors that want to spread in a dormant state," reports Dr. Vahdat, who is also medical oncologist at the Iris Cantor Women's Health Center at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. "We believe one of the important ways it works is by affecting the tumor microenvironment, specifically the bone marrow-derived cells that are critical for metastasis progression."

In addition, study partic
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Contact: Lauren Woods
Law2014@med.cornell.edu
646-317-7401
Weill Cornell Medical College
Source:Eurekalert

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